Service Immersion
Viterbo Service Immersion Locations


Casa Romero – Milwaukee (Jan. 6–11, 2019)

Casa Romero Service Immersion

The Casa Romero Service Immersion gives students the opportunity to explore social justice and cultural sensitivity through various service experiences. Students will work with Casa Romero Renewal Center to learn more about how immigration, poverty, and domestic violence affect the lives of people in Milwaukee. Activities will include: Milwaukee social justice tour, service sites, sharing meals with those experiencing poverty, and time for reflection and prayer.

More information and sign-up for Casa Romero below

Merry Green Marvel – New Orleans (Jan. 6–11, 2019)

Merry Green Marvel New Orleans

The Merry Green Marvel Service Immersion is a camping service experience for students to learn more about environmental stewardship through workshops and service experiences. Students will travel to Louisiana and camp on the Merry Green Marvel to experience simplicity and community during the trip. Activities will include: ecology workshops, tree planting, time to reflect, and a day of exploration in New Orleans. 

More information and sign-up for Merry Green Marvel below

Twin Cities (Spring Break 2019)

The Twin Cities Service Immersion will allow students to have cultural experiences and serve in variety of settings throughout the week. There will be time for reflection and learning for students to gain the most of their hands-on experience. Activities may include: working at service sites, opportunities for reflection and community-building, and various cultural experiences. 

More information and sign-up for Twin Cities below

The Port Ministries – Chicago (Spring Break 2019)

The Port Minisgtries Chicago

The Port Ministries Service Immersion will give students a chance to witness the beauty and challenges of living in Chicago's Back of the Yards (BOTY). Students will participate in direct and indirect service experiences and work with the Port's partner organizations to receive a variety of eye-opening experiences. Activities will include: serving food, painting, tutoring, and plenty of time for fun and reflection. 

More information and sign-up for The Port Ministries below

Tau House – Cincinnati (May 13–18, 2019)

Tau House Service Immersion

The Tau House Service Immersion will focus on the Franciscan traditions of simplicity, service, and community.  Students will stay at Tau House and go out into the greater Cincinnati area to serve in a variety of settings. There will be ample opportunities for community, reflection, and prayer. Activities will include: witness speakers to educate about homelessness, supper with the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor, service and work sites, and lots of fun. 

More information and sign-up for Tau House below

More information and sign-up for Casa Romero

Summary:The trip will be going to Milwaukee, Wisconsin and working with Casa Romero Renewal Center. The goal of the week is to provide the participants with a culturally diverse experience to develop cultural sensitivity and awareness of urban issues through input, reflection, prayer, service projects, and agency visits. Customized to focus on social justice themes, the Urban Plunge program immerses participants into aspects of urban reality while encouraging a commitment to building a more just world.

What Kind of Work Will We Be Doing? 

Breaking Bread, Breaking Barriers:  We will examine more critically two issues those living in poverty are forced to face: homelessness and hunger. We will reflect on the poverty rates of different demographics of people in an urban population and examine cultural stereotypes associated with living in poverty. We will also make and serve meals and/or eat with homeless people.

Seeing Christ in the Migrant: We will critically examine the obstacles undocumented immigrants face. We will reflect on common misconceptions regarding immigration. We will work to understand the Catholic Social Teaching principle of human dignity as it relates to just treatment of all individuals, regardless of their immigration status.

Activities of the week:

  • Prayer 
  • Breaking Bread, Breaking Barriers Activity 
  • Seeing Christ in the Migrant Activity 
  • Milwaukee tour based on social justice issues 
  • Witness speaker 
  • Meal sites- share a meal with those experiencing poverty 
  • Service & work sites 
  • Food stamp shopping 
  • Homelessness Immersion Experience activity  

Additional Resources on Casa Romero Renewal Center: 

Trip Details: 

  • Departure - The group will be leaving Viterbo University the morning of Sunday, January 6th, 2019. 
  • Return - The group will leave Milwaukee the afternoon of Friday, Jan. 11th, 2019 and be back to Viterbo in the evening. (Times TBD) 
  • Cost - $100  

Trip Sign-up and Leadership Position Application

More information and sign-up for Merry Green Marvel


This trip will be a camping service experience focused on sustainability and environmental service work in the wetlands of Louisiana.  The trip is in conjunction with the Merry Green Marvel, a converted bus used for housing participants during the service experience.  Women will be sleeping on the bus for the duration of the trip and men will be staying in tents.    

What type of work will we be doing?  

Participants will be planting trees and learning about the local ecology of the area.  If the weather is not permitting, other arrangements will be made to do indoor-centered service, such as home repairs.  

Activities of the week: 

  • Learn about the ecology of the wetlands in Louisiana 
  • Plant young Cyprus trees in the wetlands  
  • Kayak to view older trees and learn more about the ecosystem 
  • Explore New Orleans—learn and enjoy Cajun cooking, experience New Orleans music, tour a local sustainability initiative (Sustain the Nine)  

Additional Resources:

Trip Details: 

  • Departure – Sunday, January 6th, 2019 fly from Minneapolis-St. Paul to New Orleans 
  • Return – Saturday, January 12th, 2019 fly from New Orleans to Minneapolis-St. Paul  
  • Cost -  A non-refundable $50 deposit is required to reserve your spot. Due to the cost of air travel, and an additional fee of $300 will be added to the trip, totaling $350. Scholarships are available, and fundraising materials/resources and payment plans are an option. If you would like to participate, please don't let cost be an issue, options are available. 

Trip Sign-up and Leadership Position Application

More information and sign-up for Twin Cities


This trip will focus on serving those impoverished within the Twin Cities metro.  There will be opportunities for many different types of service to provide a diverse, enriching experience for students.  Opportunities to experience culture, reflect on service experiences, and have fun will all be incorporated into this spring break service trip!

What type of work will we be doing? 

In the past, students have served in a variety of settings including: small food shelves, large scale food distribution companies, medical supply organizations, an African American community center, short-term housing organizations, and a domestic violence shelter.  Student will be provided with opportunities to gain insight into poverty and learn about other cultures.  

Activities of the week: 

  • Time for reflection and community building 
  • Service and work sites 
  • Activities in the Twin Cities  
  • Cultural experiences 

Trip Details: 

  • Departure from Viterbo on Sunday, March 10th  
  • Return to Viterbo on Friday, March 15th  
  • Cost - $100  

Trip Preparation:

  • Pre-trip planning meetings (dates TBD)
  • Keeping in contact with trip leaders once they are established

Trip Sign-up and Leadership Position Application

More information and sign-up for The Port Ministries


Port Ministries Service Immersion program seeks to expose retreatants to the beauty and challenge of life in Chicago’s Back of the Yards (BOTY). Through prayer, reflection, direct and indirect service, and visits to our BOTY partner organizations, our service immersion provides the opportunity to broaden one’s awareness surrounding social justice concerns, deepen one’s spirituality, and understand our organization’s mission. 


Inspired by St. Francis of Assisi and the Franciscan Charism, The Port Ministries acknowledges the call to live the Gospel through full-hearted service to men, women, and children in need. Our aim is to provide programs and service that address the fundamental needs of the body, mind and spirit. Our goal is not only to respond to the basic needs of food, healthcare, and education, but also address the root problems of poverty, hunger and despair. By empowering children and families with the necessary spiritual counseling, training and support, The Port Ministries aids in providing the community the opportunity to improve their economic situation and enhance their lives. 

We hope that by allowing retreatants to participate in indirect and direct service, and visiting our partner organizations, they will be able to enter into The Port’s spirituality. We give retreatants ample time to reflect on their service experiences and educational facilitations in our chapel so that their experiences in the Back of the Yards might nurture their spirituality. We facilitate prayer, peace circles, and reflections in order to do this. 

Direct Service: 

When we refer to “direct service” we mean to describe service that involves direct contact with residents of the Back of the Yards. Direct service at The Port Ministries involves serving food on the bread truck, aiding our clinic, tutoring young folks, and helping out with open gym. 

Indirect Service: 

Indirect service to The Port Ministries is just as impactful as direct service. We rely on groups to contribute to indirect service so that we can run our programs. Indirect service to the Port Ministries involves executing much needed projects around the campus such as improving our space to better serve the community (painting, organizing, cleaning, etc.), and/or help with our communications (mailings, making phone calls, hanging flyers, etc.).  

Partnering Organizations: 

Part of our Service Immersion program includes visiting other area outreach organizations in the Back of the Yards. The Back of the Yards comprises many vibrant ministries that work for justice. Groups visit, learn from, and often times serve these organizations throughout their Service Immersion week at the Port. These organizations include: Casa Catalina, The Plant, Su Casa Catholic Worker, Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation, and San Miguel School. 

Additional Resources on the Port Ministries: 

Trip Details: 

  • Departure - The group will be leaving Viterbo University the morning of Sunday, March 10th, 2019. 
  • Return - The group will leave Chicago the afternoon of Friday, March 15th, 2019 and be back to Viterbo in the evening. (Times TBD) 
  • Cost - $100  

Trip Sign-up and Leadership Position Application

More information and sign-up for Tau House


The trip will be going to Cincinnati, Ohio to  work with Franciscan Sisters for the Poor through their Tau House program. The Tau House focuses on exposing participants to the Franciscan traditions of simplicity, service, community, and spirituality.  Our group of 12 people come and spend a week living simply in community with one another while serving in various service agencies in the greater Cincinnati area.  Tau House provides the housing, food, and service assignments, as well as social, educational, and prayer opportunities throughout the experience. 

What Kind of Work Will We Be Doing? 

 One of the things that makes the Tau House program unique is that you will be scheduled to work some place different every day.  This allows participants an opportunity to discern where their gifts may lie and how they can utilize their gifts back home by experiencing a variety of work-sites.  We highly recommend participants serve at a combination of indirect and direct service sites.  Most work-sites require groups arrive by 9am and stay until 3pm.  A ½ hour lunch break is scheduled by the work-site.  Some work-sites’ hours are slightly different (ie: 10am-4pm or 9am-2:30pm).

Activities of the Week:

  • Prayer opportunities and reflection activities  
  • Witness speakers from the Cincinnati Homeless Coalition or Heartfelt Tidbits 
  • An evening supper with the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor and a tour of their mother house 
  • Service & work sites 
  • Activities in the larger Cincinnati area  

Additional Resources:

Trip Details: 

  • Departure - The group will be leaving Viterbo University the morning of Monday, May 13th, 2019. 
  • Return - The group will leave Cincinnati the early afternoon of Saturday, May 18th, 2019 and be back to Viterbo in the late evening. (Times TBD) 
  • Cost - $100  

Trip Sign-up and Leadership Position Application